I have spoken about faith a lot. Without faith it is impossible to please God but I read something that made me ask the question, is my faith really faith? As I write this, my prayer is you will see faith in a new light.
It was whilst reading the book of James that I questioned if my faith was really faith. This passage of scripture is very popular. I have read it many times but this time round it was different. I was really challenged by what I read. This particular portion of scripture speaks about faith and works. In James 2:14 it says:
What is the use (profit), my brethren, for anyone to profess to have faith if he has no [good] works [to show for it]? Can [such] faith save [his soul]?
It then goes on to say in James 2:18:
But someone will say [to you then], You [say you] have faith, and I have [good] works. Now show me your [alleged] faith apart from any [good] works [if you can], and I by [good] works [of obedience] will show you my faith.
According to James who was inspired by the Holy Spirit, real faith works hand in hand with action. You cannot have one or the other. It is not just believing and doing nothing. He paints a picture of two people. It almost seems like a competition is taking place. It is “faith” which is faith without action vs “works” faith with works. And in this competition “faith” without action loses. He is saying our faith is not really faith until it is accompanied by action (works)! Believing is not enough because according to James 2:19 he says:
You believe that God is one; you do well. So do the demons believe and shudder [in terror and horror such as make a man’s hair stand on end and contract the surface of his skin]!
There are a lot of things we are trusting God for but we need to realise that sitting and waiting is NOT faith! In the things that we have faith for there is a part we have to play.
Please understand, I am not advocating we do things in our flesh and not trust in God. What I am saying is, in the things we are trusting God for there is a part for us to play. Let me give you an example.
Saul and Jonathan and the army of Israel were trapped by the Philistines but to make matters worse Saul and Jonathan were the only ones with swords (1 Samuel 13:22). Saul and Jonathan had “faith” in God. Saul’s “faith” led him to enquire of the Lord through the priest Ahijah (1 Samuel 14:18,19) while Jonathan’s “faith” led him to act. Jonathan’s “faith” led his nation to victory ( 1 Samuel 14:23).
I hope you see as Jonathan stepped out and did his part God STEPPED UP and did His part and that is how it is supposed to be, that is real faith! Our faith needs to be accompanied by works!
James 2:21 says:
Was not our forefather Abraham [shown to be] justified (made acceptable to God) by [his] works when he brought to the altar as an offering his [own] son Issac?
You see that [his] faith was cooperating with his works, and [his] faith was completed and reached its supreme expression [when he implemented it] by [good] works.
You may have faith that God will turn your life around but know you have a part to play. You may be trusting God to bring your destiny to pass but know you have a part to play. You need to act. If you don’t know your part ask God. He will show you what you need to do. You may trusting God for healing, also know you have a part to play. It might be changing your confession. (Some of us make things worse for ourselves by speaking death over ourselves.) It may be changing how you eat. I don’t know, but what I do know is you have a part to play. You may be in poverty and trusting God for financial breakthrough but you have a part to play. You may need to give more, maybe pay your tithes (which a lot of christians don’t do), it might be saving money….etc
Are you starting to see it? I really hope you can. God is faithful and will not abandon us. When we do our part which is a sign of our faith in Him, He will do His part which is the main part, which is the miracle part. I will end with James 2:26 which says:
For as the human body apart from the spirit is lifeless, so faith apart from [its] works of obedience is also dead.